Fed up with the status quo. Birthed at a kitchen table. Doing something better and/or different than anyone else. An idea whose time has come. These are all sources of inspiration that lead to the establishment of a new brand. Some succeed, many do not but at the point of inception all are driven by the vision, desire and, sometimes, sheer boldness of a founder. So it was with English gabardine inventor Thomas Burberry, French harness maker Thierry Hermés, Italian fabric maker Franco Loro Piana and numerous others whose brands today are global icons. So it is hoped to be with QIVIUT & CO, not just for the tangible benefits of success but as much or even more so in the hope of establishing a legacy that will endure, like the musk ox itself. A legacy that will stand for the all too often trivialised notions of supreme quality, placing the customer above all else and, most of all, integrity.
This is a lot to ask of a clothing company that will always be niche, always exclusive simply because of the scarcity of its signature raw material. Many have advised against the attempt altogether. But founders are unique individuals. They see the possible in what others see as impossible. They are excited rather than deterred by a challenge. But, in particular, they are driven, win or lose, by the thrill of the chase; the belief that life is lived more vividly in the attempt than in the end result. To repeat Teddy Roosevelt’s famous words delivered at the Sorbonne in 1910.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood... who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
This is the journey on which QIVIUT & CO is embarking. It is a long one and the single first step is The Qiviut Jacket.
The next chapter
The Next Chapter
The Qiviut Jacket is our first and our flagship garment to introduce the whole concept of qiviut to the ultra-luxury clothing category. We picked a substantial garment for this purpose because, like a fine wine or Swiss watch, we think it will be an investment for the ages for the few who can acquire one. A quilted jacket that can keep you cozily warm heliskiing in The Bugaboos and yet is adaptable and stylish enough to wear to a business meeting in The City was the right article of clothing to demonstrate qiviut’s uncanny capabilities for insulation and sensuous softness. It was also the right type of garment with which to hone the qiviut manufacturing techniques for insulation, knitting and weaving, most of which had never before been mechanised and which involved a great deal of trial and error over a lengthy incubation period.
In the expectation that the limited edition manufacturing run of the jacket will be acquired by clients completely within a season, it is the intention to manufacture a new vintage of the jacket each year, a vintage, like wine, being defined by the year the raw fibre was sourced rather than the year of manufacture (e.g., the current jacket is vintage 2015). This is because when sourcing fibre from wild musk oxen, whose care and feeding cannot be controlled like goats or sheep, variations in migration patterns, the severity of weather and vegetation available can make a subtle difference in the performance characteristics of the fibre from year to year.
In the meantime, we are well along on developing a quilted gilet (vest) along with new woven and knitwear items for SS 2017 as logical extensions of the line to particularly demonstrate the uber-luxury hand feel of qiviut garments compared to its peer fibres.